The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants

The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants

Book - 1992
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The study of sacred and magical plants goes beyond biology - it is also the study of culture and belief. From aloe vera to witch hazel, plants have been used throughout history in rituals and sacred ceremonies by people around the world. Collected here is information about over 200 sacred and magical plants, each entry exploring the plants' cultural and historical significance. The author, Christian Ratsch, states, "Magic is a gateway to other realities." Plants used in specific ways - whether by ingesting them, making them into ointments, or using them as part of a ritual - become the means to approaching these other realities. Shamans, for example, ingest certain plants so that they may experience out-of-body travels. Mushrooms are used to unfold healing powers. Clairvoyants use thornapple to see into the future. Some herbs are said to cause levitation. Priests burn incense to make contact with the gods. And witches are said to have made ointments from plants to go on astral journeys. These methods have been used for centuries to put people in touch with deeper levels of consciousness. In this inclusive source, readers will explore the link between magic, plants, and the search for understanding. They will discover why certain plants are considered sacred or magical and how they may be used in rituals by medicine men, shamans, and others to ward off illness and understand omens. Arranged alphabetically by common plant name, The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants offers more than 200 pages of detailed text about plants as common as ginger and as exotic as jambur, including magical plants of prophesy, magical medicines, love potions and aphrodisiacs, elixirs of immortality and poisons and death charms. Each entry is supported by pharmacological evidence, and many are enhanced by illustrations. A comprehensive bibliography and a glossary provide the reader with a basis for further research. Anyone interested in the adventurous study of magical and sacred plants and world culture will find this an accessible and fascinating reference work on the powers of plants from around the world.
Publisher: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, 1992
ISBN: 9780874367164
Branch Call Number: 398.36803 R189d 1992
Characteristics: 223 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Baker, John
Hofmann, Albert


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